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    Sun Tzu

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    Sun Tzu

    Chinese general & military strategist
    6 Favorites on Read Print

    Biography

    According to Ssu-ma Ch'ien's Shih chi, also called the Records of the Grand Historian, Sun Tzu was a military general from the state of Ch'i during the Spring and Autumn period (722-481 BC). Scholars surmise he lived from 544 BC to 496 BC. Sun Tzu wrote the earliest -- and still the most revered -- military treatise in the world. This masterpiece is best known to most of us as The Art of War. More ...

    Books by Sun Tzu

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    Quotes by Sun Tzu

    • All warfare is based on deception. There is no place where espionage is not used. Offer the enemy bait to lure him.
    • Appraise war in terms of the fundamental factors. The first of these factors is moral influence.
    • Nothing is more difficult than the art of maneuvering for advantageous positions.
    • Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
    • Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate.
    If we're missing any Sun Tzu books or quotes, do email us.

    Biography of Sun Tzu

    According to Ssu-ma Ch'ien's Shih chi, also called the Records of the Grand Historian, Sun Tzu was a military general from the state of Ch'i during the Spring and Autumn period (722-481 BC). Scholars surmise he lived from 544 BC to 496 BC.

    Sun Tzu wrote the earliest -- and still the most revered -- military treatise in the world. This masterpiece is best known to most of us as The Art of War. Since naming a written work after its author was customary in ancient China, the text was originally referred to as simply "Sun Tzu." Sonshi.com uses the terms "Sun Tzu" and "The Art of War" interchangeably.

    Sun Tzu means Master Sun. His first name is Wu.

    Skilled and experienced in warfare matters during a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Sun Tzu presented his treatise to King Ho-lu of the Wu state. The sovereign was impressed. When asked whether its principles can be applied to anyone, Sun Tzu replied, "Yes." As proof of his competency and to confirm the principles' effectiveness, he successfully transformed 180 court women into trained soldiers in just one session.

    With Sun Tzu as general, King Ho-lu captured the capital city of Ying to defeat the powerful Ch'u state in 506 BC. They then headed north and subdued Ch'i and Chin. Not surprisingly, Sun Tzu's name quickly spread throughout the land and among the feudal lords.

    How he later lived or died is unknown. However, the Yueh Chueh Shu declared "ten miles outside the city gate of Wu Hsieh, there is a large tomb of the great strategist Sun Tzu." By the Han dynasty, his reputation as a wise and respected military leader was well-known. Considering the countless texts lost or destroyed throughout China's history, the remarkable survival and relevancy of Sun Tzu's The Art of War to this very day attest to its immeasurable value.

    We hope you enjoyed reading this Sun Tzu biography. If you think we left out some details about Tzu's life, email us!
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